Ever since she was a child, Laura Sánchez has always celebrated the regional tradition of Las Posadas with her family.
"We've always done it in a small way," she explained with a broad smile. "We invite other family members, get together every Christmas and do the little procession of Joseph and Mary, light candles and pray. At the end of reciting the rosary, we have champurrado (a Mexican cocoa drink), eat tamales and receive our colaciones (Mexican festive candies)."
Sánchez, a criminal justice major and member of Texas A&M International University's Ballet Folklórico, will now get to share her favorite holiday tradition with the entire community as the Ballet Folklórico presents the Fifth Annual Las Posadas Celebration Sunday, Dec. 2 from 6-8 p.m. in the University's Kinesiology/Convocation Building.
The event is free of charge and open to the public.
Organized by the Ballet Folklórico and the Student Government Association, the Las Posadas Celebration is the largest of its kind in the city and presents an exacting re-creation of a Mexican posada, complete with traditional dance, music and food of Mexico. This year's performers will include the Ballet Folklórico, Ballet Folklórico Juvenil, the University Band and the award-winning Mariachi Internacional.
"Las Posadas is a tradition in Mexico that occurs during the nine nights before Christmas," explained Gabriela Mendoza-García, associate director of Student Development and Ballet Folklórico director, "According to tradition, a group of families gather at home and re-enact Mary and Joseph's search to find lodging in Bethlehem. As in every year, we invite the entire community to participate and celebrate the holidays with music, food and candlelight."
After the re-enactment processional and entertainment, a free reception will be held, featuring Mexican foods traditionally served during the holiday season.
Sánchez said she enjoys the peaceful feeling that Las Posadas brings to her.
"The idea behind it is being together with your family and friends. I never thought I would share this experience with a lot of people but it's nice to have had celebrated Las Posadas since childhood," she said, "Now that I'm 20, I can feel free to answer any questions people might have about this tradition and share a part of what I've learned from my family with the University and the community."
For more information on Las Posadas at A&M International Sunday, Dec. 2, please contact David Jones, Ballet Folklórico member, at 326- 2771, or the Student Government Association office at 326-2265. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.